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Buffett to donate approximately $29.6 billion to the Gates Foundation

Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and the world’s second richest person, said he will donate 85 percent of his stock in his company to charity according to news reports. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is “dedicated to bringing innovations in health and learning to the global community,” will receive 80 percent of Buffett’s donation.

The New York Times estimates Buffett’s total charitable donation (based on the current stock price of Berkshire Hathaway) to be $37 billion, meaning the Gates Foundation will receive about $29.6 billion.

Kudos to Buffett (who’s renowned for not spending any of his vast wealth) for giving away so much money. But, while the Gates Foundation probably is one of the most effective charities working in international development, will it be able to use all of that money effectively? Or, as with Doctor’s Without Borders after the 2004 tsunami, will the large sum give the Gates Foundation more funds than it can use?

Of course, with Bill Gates set to leave Microsoft in 2008 to run the Gates Foundation full time, maybe Buffett made another wise investment.

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3 Responses to Buffett to donate approximately $29.6 billion to the Gates Foundation

  1. Jim June 25, 2006 at 11:23 pm #

    Thanks for your comment and visit. No argument from me, I too just hope it all can be spent. Let’s put in our application with the Gates Foundation. I like to spend and give away money too.
    ..

  2. Vinit June 26, 2006 at 2:25 pm #

    I think Buffett’s donation was definitely based on getting Bill Gates to work full-time with the foundation. It’s his smart way of forcing Bill’s hand!

    Also, the fact that one of the two Gates has to remain with the foundation to get Buffett’s money is another smart move … this way he makes sure his money is always handled with care.

  3. Zach Everson June 27, 2006 at 12:07 am #

    Interesting thought about Buffett’s donation obligating a Gates to stick with the foundation. Gates may have forced Buffett’s hand as well, however; just last week the Economist reported that Gates’s committment to his foundation might get Buffett to donate his wealth while alive, as opposed to waiting until after he died as was his previous plan.

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